Friends of Texas Public Schools

August 2019

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Texas Students Achieve Strong Gains in All Subjects on 2019 STAAR End-of-Course Exams

Results for the 2019 spring administration of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) tests reveal high school end of course assessments were particularly strong, with gains in all subjects compared to 2018.



At this writing, everyone is settling into the 2019-2020 school year and the freshness of a new year has begun. With the new year comes several changes following the most recent legislative session, some of which rewarded teachers and staff with well-deserved pay increases. I believe many people are beginning to realize how important a happy teacher is when it comes to the welfare of a school campus. A special thanks for the voters of Texas and the Texas Legislature for listening to these voters.

There are a lot of “Great Things Happening in Our Public Schools,” and we must continue to inform people of our students' successes along with telling the stories of the teachers and staff responsible for these successes.

Please “Save the Date” for this year’s special Friends Gala, as we celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the Friends Organization.


Blake W. Cooper

Executive Director

Celebrating Texas Public Schools-Friends Scholarship

This Scholarship is for graduating seniors who can use their voice and visual media (i.e. video) to share how their public school education has impacted their future. The goal of this Scholarship is to highlight the “Great Things Happening in Texas Public Schools” from the student’s perspective.

This year Friends will award two graduates with its scholarship/award. One for a student joining the workforce, continuing education through trade schools/military or other forms of post-secondary training and one for a college-bound graduate.

Join the Friends Network

All Texas public school districts (ISD) are invited to enroll in our Network for the 2019-20 School Year. If you were a member previously, we want to invite you back! If you haven’t been a member before, we hope you will consider joining this year.

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Hop on the AMBASSADOR EXPRESS TRAINing at Google

Bring your school leadership team for a full-day workshop and discover what it means to be an Ambassador and how to create a culture of Ambassadorship across your district. Based on the book, “Hello! My Name Is Public School and I Have an Image Problem” by Friends of Texas Public Schools Leslie Milder and Jane Braddock, this program prepares educators to step up as Ambassadors for their students, schools, and profession. Includes lessons on the great things happening in our schools and explores the major factors contributing to the decay of public confidence in our public schools, including brotherhood, communication, politics, and the incessant misinformation pervading public debate.


Unite staff around your district’s goals and objectives; Create a culture of brotherhood among your staff; Stop negative chatter in its tracks; Strengthen public confidence in your schools; Cultivate a customer service mindset district-wide; Boost student retention and recruiting efforts; and Mobilize staff to participation at the polls!


Classroom Teachers, Campus Principals/Assistant Principals, District Administration, Any staff who works in the schools and lives in the community.... ALL YOUR STAFF!

Monday, October 28, 2019 - 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

$100 per person

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Become a Friends Corporate Partner

Friends of Texas Public Schools (Friends) is a nonprofit organization committed to educating Texans about the strengths and achievements of Texas public schools. It was founded by Leslie and Scott Milder in 2004 with the mission of facilitating respectful conversations about Texas public schools through honest communication, productive dialogue, and relentless encouragement. Generous donations from our Corporate Partners help us promote Texas Public Schools and will be used specifically to assist with the costs of marketing, advertising, and the production of high-profile regional and statewide events.

To become a Friends corporate partner, click below to join online. If you have any questions or would like to discuss additional partnership opportunities, please contact Executive Director, Blake Cooper at 903-453-5412 or

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DK Haney Roofing is a certified TIPS and TXMAS vendor dedicated to helping schools get roofing projects done. Schools have been our specialty for 23 years, so we can help you navigate insurance claims and board approvals. Our state-of-the-art roof management portal provides instant access to all your roofs and reports. Call 866-379-4846.
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About us

Our Mission

"To facilitate respectful conversations about Texas public schools through honest communication, productive dialogue, and relentless encouragement."